The authors account for the fundamental nature of prayer in human lives. According to them, prayer is like a primary speech. "In prayer we say who in fact we are - not who we should be, nor who we wish we were, but who we are." They raised six important aspects of human lives and they invite us to bring them to prayer. These are desire, projection, fantasy, fear, aggression and sexuality.
They acknowledge the importance of desire in prayer and say it is the motivating factor for prayer. Projection has been used in various forms throughout the history of philosophy and religion to discredit religion. Feuerbach was the first to use the terminology in this sense. Both Freud and Marx adapted it and applied it to reflect their own positions. Their underlining thesis is that we project to a god our own powers. The authors beautifully took this same terminology and applied it in a very positive and enriching way. They see projection as one of the ways we can reach out to God. They wrote, "In prayer we must begin where we are, with the images of the divine that we project and find ourselves projecting onto the unknown."
The authors opine that silence is one of the first fears that come in prayer. Their description of the fear of silence in prayer sounds like John and Teresa's description of the dark night of the soul. Rather than run away from prayer because of the fears or prayer taking us away from our fears, the authors say that prayer takes us into the center of these fears and help us to live through them.
One of the things people have the tendency to keep very secret is their sexuality. Sometimes people want to hide it from God, yet, it is at the very center of our lives. The authors invite us to contemplate our sexuality. They say, "our contemplative concentration must include our sexuality just as our sexuality must include our contemplative life."
This is definitely the best book on prayer I have read in recent times. The authors made appropriate use of the tools of psychology to help us pray without reducing prayer to psychology. It is practical, clear and very inviting. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in praying better. It is a must have for ministers, religious counselors and spiritual directors.
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press (8 March 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780804211345
- ISBN-13: 978-0804211345
- ASIN: 0804211345
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.1 x 20.3 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 240 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,190 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)